Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Announces Wausau Paper to Make Major Investment, Expand in Harrodsburg
Company to create 76 new jobs, invest approximately $220 million
HARRODSBURG, Ky. (April 13, 2011) – Gov. Steve Beshear today joined community leaders and officials of Wausau Paper in Harrodsburg to announce the company will undergo a major expansion at its Mercer County facility. The growth will result in an approximately $220 million investment and the creation of 76 new jobs in addition to the company’s existing 397 employees in the Commonwealth.
“This is an outstanding vote of confidence by Wausau Paper in the Harrodsburg workforce and Kentucky’s overall business climate,” said Gov. Beshear. “The growth and success of our existing industries is vital to our state’s economic health and recovery. Investments like this, totaling $220 million and 76 new jobs, are a positive step in the right direction.”
Wausau Paper has produced towel and tissue paper products at its Harrodsburg plant since 1990. The company’s latest expansion will involve the installation of a paper machine that will produce about 75,000 tons of towel and tissue products per year, as well as enhance manufacturing capabilities of existing assets.
“The investment we announce today will further our ‘green’ leadership position in the away-from-home towel and tissue market,” said Thomas J. Howatt, Wausau Paper president and CEO. “The new machine will provide the capability to produce products at a quality level that is comparable to the best on the market today. Our partnership with the city of Harrodsburg, Mercer County and the state of Kentucky has been integral to the success we’ve achieved as a company and we look forward to continuing this long and fruitful association.”
At a special meeting today, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Wausau Paper for tax incentives up to $6 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows the company to keep a portion of its investment over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
KEDFA also preliminarily approved Wausau Paper for tax benefits up to $1.1 million through the Kentucky Enterprise Investment Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development, and electronic processing equipment.
“I am proud of our community for having the quality of workers and hometown values to attract such great corporate partners as Wausau Paper to decide to grow in Harrodsburg,” said Sen. Jimmy Higdon, of Lebanon.
“Today’s announcement will provide a boost to the engine that fuels the economy of Mercer County,” said Rep. Kim King, of Harrodsburg. “This investment and expansion of jobs at Wausau Paper is an endorsement to the quality of the workforce in Mercer and surrounding counties as they increase their operations.”
“We are pleased and excited that Wausau Paper is making this large investment in Mercer County,” said Mercer County Judge Executive Milward Dedman. “We look forward to a prosperous future together.”
“Wausau Paper is a fantastic corporate citizen,” added Harrodsburg Mayor Eddie Long. “This investment helps ensure employment opportunities in Mercer County for decades to come. For this we are very grateful.”
For more information on Wausau Paper, visit www.wausaupaper.com.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.
A detailed community profile for Harrodsburg (Mercer County) can be viewed at http://thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=068.
Follow Governor Beshear on Twitter @Govstevebeshear, read the Governor's personal notes on his blog at http://blog.governor.ky.gov/, and view the Governor's weekly YouTube commentary at http://www.youtube.com/governorbeshear.